When the merger of Strikeforce fighters to come over to the Ultimate Fighting Championship was announced there was one name that was left off the list that caught everyone’s attention. Former UFC heavyweight champion, Josh Barnett, was not included on the move. The reasons why were never released but even still, he is one individual who should have been brought over immediately. Either way, that mistake has been corrected and the Octagon will soon welcome its newest heavyweight.
Josh Barnett’s signing had been reported through multiple outlets this week while it was not confirmed in any way through the UFC or Barnett. The former champion took to his Twitter account on Wednesday to inform the world that he had been brought back by his former employer.
“The enemy has returned,” Barnett posted. “I’ve signed w/the UFC and no heavyweight is safe. They’re all due a lesson in violence from the Warmaster.”
Barnett’s return gives some life to a weight class that was currently is devoid of many challengers. Just looking at this weekend’s UFC 160 shows that the weight class needs an influx of some new faces. Current champion Cain Velasquez will fight Antonio Silva for the second time in a year. Last time they meet Cain dispatched Antonio in a very bloody, one-sided bout. Right beneath them is a number one contenders bout that features the former champion in Junior dos Santos and the 9-7 Mark Hunt, who has been on a tear since coming over from Pride.
While Barnett shouldn’t be considered in the title picture right out of the gate; he does have the abilities to put together 3-4 wins within this weight class. In looking at the current rankings and matchups planned; a few different opportunities exist for the man that is now called “The Warmaster.”
While Roy Nelson was recently announced to be facing Stipe Miocic at UFC 161, but the winner of the Ultimate Fighter season 10 would have been a great introduction opponent for Barnett. Few competitors at heavyweight have the personality to be able to match that of Josh’s but Roy would be up for the challenge.
Fabricio Werdum and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira are set to face each other at UFC on Fuel TV 10 this coming June and the winner of that bout would be another captivating opponent for Barnett to face when he comes back to the Octagon. Travis Browne and Frank Mir can also be included on that short list.
With this signing the UFC has added a man that not only knows how to finish fights but can talk them up at the same time. Josh Barnett has value within the UFC’s heavyweight division and his return is a story to watch.